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The Dawn of the World, by C. Hart Merriam, [1910], at

p. 212


The Middle Mewuk of Tuolumne River foothills say:

When Soo-koo'-me the Great Horned Owl hoots, it means that someone is dying. He is himself the Ghosts of dead people. 20

[I was once asked by a Northern Mewuk if I had ever seen the broad belt of bony plates which surrounds the eyeball of the Great Horned Owl. On replying that I had, I was assured that these closely imbricating plates are the "finger nails all jammed tight together of the ghosts caught by the owl."]


212:20 For additional matter on this subject see Beliefs concerning Ghosts, pages 217-221. Similar beliefs are held by other California tribes.

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